Profits rise at Premier Farnell

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Electronics distributor Premier Farnell reported a healthy rise in annual pre-tax profits, helped by better-than-expected sales in emerging markets such as China and India.

The Leeds-based company said profits rose 8.4 per cent to £74.8m in the year to February 2.

Premier said the current year has got off to a positive start despite adverse weather conditions hitting its North America business in February.

Shares in the company rose four per cent to 228.8p in morning trade on the London Stock Exchange.

Revenue rose 2.6 per cent to £968.

The company, which sells half a million products ranging from batteries to CCTV cameras in more than 100 countries, started out as a radio parts seller in 1939.

It said sales in emerging markets grew 14.9 per cent in the year, ahead of the company’s target of 10 per cent.

Asia-Pacific revenue rose 12.4 per cent during the year, with second-half recording a 15 per cent increase.

Per-day sales in China and India grew 25.7 per cent and 20.3 per cent respectively.

Revenue at the company’s marketing and distribution (MDD) business, which accounts for about 92 per cent of total turnover, rose two per cent to £892.7m.

Premier Farnell also said it would acquire US-based privately held engineering design services firm AVID Technologies Inc for £7.8m.